The Illusion of Control: Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

How many of you saw that verse and said to yourself, “Oh, yeah.  I know that one,” and then fast-forwarded to the end?  If so, don’t feel badly. I usually do too.  This is one of those familiar passages many of us cite when our lives feel out of control.  So, when I read it this morning, I surprised to hear something new in my head:

“Be still, and know that I am God.  I (not you) will be exalted among the nations, I (not you) will be exalted in the earth.”

God reminds us in the first part of this passage that He is God. Then, in the second part, He reminds us that we are not Him! God has all power and control, and only He will be exalted among the nations and in the earth.  That’s not just a prophesy, it’s a promise.

The Creator of the universe has always been in control and that will never change.  Even non-believers and all creation will acknowledge that truth in the end.  All of our efforts to control our lives, circumstances, people, and so forth are an illusion.

Nothing happens in this world that isn’t God allowed or God ordained.  The freedom within limits He gives us can lead to the erroneous conclusion we have control.  Don’t confuse choices with control!

Go back to the first part of the verse, and think about the choices you have:

“Be still,  (stop talking, commenting, arguing, questioning . . .)

and know (be sure, have faith, seek no second opinions . . .)


I am God.” (remember God is almighty, in control, protecting . . .)

You may not be able to control what is happening around you today, but you do have choices about how to respond. Let me tell you, based on my own experiences why choosing wisely matters:

  1. Pursuit of control can lead us further away from God. The more we rely on our own solutions, the less we trust God.
  2. Pursuit of control can undermine our well-being. Trying to handle everything on our own consumes our emotional, spiritual, and physical energy.
  3. Pursuit of control can result in unintended consequences. Even if you are successful in achieving one goal, new challenges may emerge as a result of your efforts that complicate your situation.

Today, I encourage you to choose differently:

Pursue God and His will above all things.

Do that, and everything else will fall into place.

Be blessed,

2 thoughts on “The Illusion of Control: Psalm 46:10

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